Tchotchke Fever

My tolerance for ickle doodads at home is moderate, at best. Certain narrow categories of things, yes, we all have our indulgences – but I don’t play indiscriminate magpie. At least not for keeps.

It’s a completely different story at work. I’m slowly decorating my cubicle with shiny junk – garbage in the most literal sense, since much of it comes from discarded outré floral arrangements in the dumpster next door. I have fake flowers tacked to my walls, and now a sparkly plastic snowflake dangling from the dragon tree. I work in an objectively pro-Hummel figurine crap trap.

In the beginning, I thought of it as dorm-style decor. There’s a certain functional equivalency; the cubicle wall and the dorm door are both blank slates we use for practical purposes as well as projecting an image of ourselves to passers-by. But I generally found it more fun to leave shiny crap on other people’s doors in college; keeping the junk in my own space represents some kind of fundamental shift.

    Is it:

  1. A healthy redirection of a socially awkward impulse?
  2. An unhealthy redirection of creative energy back upon myself, which will eventually cause a narcissistic meltdown?
  3. The only sensible response to the prevailing aesthetic of my workplace?
  4. All or none of the above?


  1. Rana wrote:

    I vote “c”. In my current office I have 1) a pot of fake flowers, 2) a tacky brass lamp, 3) a calendar from some charity, 4) a teddy bear that came in a package from my parents, 5) a cheesy postcard, 6) a weird silver fung shui spiral hangy thing, 7) a New Mexican art print I fished out of a dumpster several years ago. None of these are things I’d have deliberately brought into my actual living space (well, maybe the print, once).
    It’s astoundingly cheesy in a way my at-home clutter never manages.

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